Tropical Food Garden

Tropical Food Garden gardening blog focuses on gardening in the tropics, food plants that grow in the tropics and the realities of working towards a permaculture food forest and self-sufficiency in a tropical environment.

The website, Tropical Food Garden, belongs to Alyson Long, a lifelong gardener in multiple climates, a graduate in Biological Sciences (including botany) and now the owner of a homestead, farm, or property in a tropical climate just 16 degrees south of the equator. Alyson has been a successful website creator, author, and social media marketer in the travel niche for over 10 years.

tropical food garden homestead life
From suburban permaculture in a large backyard to 5 acres of tropical paradise, abundant livestock and wildlife. Tropical gardens and food forest in the making. The geese are called Lizzie and Shaquille, the horse is named Cobber, an old rescue horse from a terrible animal abuse case in Far North Queensland.

Tropical Food Garden- Gardening in The Tropics

This site, Tropical Food Garden, came into existence because we needed to find information on how to grow food in our tropical environment, and couldn’t find it all in one place.

In fact, we couldn’t find much information at all on tropical gardening, and later, on tropical permaculture and sustainable farming or homesteading.

Gardening in the tropics is very different to temperate or subtropical gardening and we were new to it back then. We needed to learn how to grow food in the tropics, fast as the pandemic took our income away.

So our website was born. We needed to make notes, and learn from them.

We wanted to grow tropical food crops predominantly but also native flowers, plants, and trees to attract the pollinators sadly missing in our food garden. Sure enough, they came, and our garden flourished.

We also wanted to increase productivity and add some animal proteins to our diets with aquaponics and backyard chicken keeping.

This was back in the days when we were growing food in a suburban backyard. Some 3 years later, we bought our farm or homestead.

first steps in tropical permaculture
First steps in tropical permaculture. Our first step after moving to the farm was to establish a small kitchen garden in zone 1, right next to our steps. I know myself well, I won’t walk far to grab a handful of herbs or a juicy red chilli, they need to be close at hand. But these plants are also scattered throughout the property. We’ll never go hungry here! The nets are to keep our flock of free-range chickens, geese, and guinea fowl, out of our food plants, this works well.

All of this gardening necessitated soil building, composting, worm farming and fertilising. We had to learn how to do it all.

In time, we’ll get all of this information on our website. Gardening starts with the soil, and at the beginning our garden had none.

We grew that suburban backyard garden into an abundant and productive backyard permaculture-style food forest. We grew most of our vegetables and all of our fruit in a suburban backyard in the tropics.

Admittedly, it was a big backyard!

On this site, you can see our triumphs and successes, learn from our false-starts and failures, become gardeners with us.

From Garden Blog to Farm or Homestead Blog

As we have now bought our farm or homestead in the tropics, we’ll be documenting that project too. It’s a big renovation job! 5 acres of project, plus outbuildings, a dam (lake or pond), and a run-down farmhouse.

We’re aiming for as self-sufficient and sustainable as possible, we already have our own solar power and on-site water supply.

See our farm, as we bought it, here.

A garden is a love letter to the world

I had a head start in website creation, I was already a professional blogger, our travel blog provides my family’s income while we get our tropical food garden up and producing.

This website is just for fun, to record progress, share stories, quotes, and inspiration, while helping our kids retain the knowledge of past generations. It’s brand new and we’re still building it.

First Steps in Gardening in The Tropics

The first thing to do, if you are new to gardening in the tropics (or anywhere) is to observe. See how the sun moves across the land in summer and winter, check which parts of your garden receive sun and shade.

Also observe water flow in the land. Are there wetter and drier areas? Are some parts of your garden consistently damp, are others high and dry as soon as the wet season ends?

Look at your soil? Where is it best? What is naturally growing in the conditions that you have?

Then think about which food plants you eat most and will actually use. Which plants are the most useful if you are aiming to cut your grocery bills or become self sufficient?

Think trees, you may not get much food from your trees in the first few years, but the sooner you can get them in the ground the better.

Next, if money is tight, consider which food plants you can get for free, from cuttings, pups, or seeds, there are many possibilities. Many, many food plants can be grown from supermarket scraps.

If you’re serious about self-sufficiency, get chickens, if your local regulations allow that.

Then go read our top tips for new gardeners, it’s here for you to use.

About The Author of Tropical Food Garden

suburban backyard tropical permaculture
From suburban backyard tropical permaculture, to 5 acre homestead or farm.

Alyson Long is the main voice of this gardening and homesteading blog. She has been a professional blogger, website creator, and writer for almost a decade. Her husband, James Long, is a former executive chef in 5 star resorts, he works alongside her in creating content on food topics.

She has a bachelors degree in Biological Sciences, which covered many of the scientific aspects used in soil, plants, animals, and ecosystems. She was in hospital medical science before becoming a webmaster.

Her income comes from her websites, giving her plenty of time to spend on the farm and in the gardens.

She has been featured in National Newspapers, In-Flight Magazines, and Lonely Planet through her work on her main travel blog. She is a published writer in the homeschooling niche.

She also coaches bloggers, several very successful bloggers today got started with her help and knowledge of SEO and content creation.

Alyson first started gardening with her father, as a child in Wales. Her dad taught her well. She hopes to pass this gardening and permaculture know-how on to her own children. The same basics apply in any climate, but the tropics bring benefits, and hindrances to a gardener.

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